Early in the epidemic, Chinese researchers (Jian Lu, et al,) reported in the National Science Review earlier this month that there was an aggressive more virulent L strain compared to the older S strain of the virus. Of the 103 viral genomes they scoured, 70% were of the L-type variant using phylodynamic analysis of samples taken during the earliest phase of the outbreak that began in Wuhan late last year. But subsequent later samples taken later in the course of the epidemic were mostly of the S strain. Peer review by researchers at other institutions have recently called this study into question.

Does anyone know where this stands currently? Has an aggressive L strain been confirmed? Do current rRT-PCR tests make any distinctions between L and S strains?


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